Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, has said that the recent meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is an endorsement of the fact that Kashmir is an international issue.
“The fact that this meeting took place is a testimony to the fact that this is an internationally recognized dispute,” she says. The UN envoy further said that Pakistan’s push for the Security Council is ‘the first and not the last step.’
“The voice of the Kashmiri people resonated in the chamber of the world’s highest diplomatic forum today,” said Lodhi while pointing out that the detention of people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot stop their voices from being heard at the UN.
The UNSC held a consultative meeting regarding occupied Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, 50 years after the previous meeting. The council did not issue a joint statement, as the members did not agree on the language. They were afraid that the language may show bias towards a party and may push the issue ‘beyond the subject of bilateral discussions’ between India and Pakistan.
However, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun summed up the discussions saying,
The UNSC members are concerned about the human rights situation there and they (want) the parties concerned to refrain from taking any unilateral action that might further aggravate the tension there since the situation is already very tense and very dangerous.
The Chinese UN envoy added that the status of Kashmir remains undecided, saying that China urges the relevant parties to exercise restraint.
Russian envoy to UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said that Russia is concerned that the dispute can escalate into a larger conflict between India and Pakistan.
Several diplomats briefed the press about the proceedings of the closed-door meeting. They said that the UNSC members urged India and Pakistan to abstain from any action that could exacerbate tensions in the region.
They reaffirmed relevant council resolutions on the issue while calling the South Asian neighbors to avoid actions that can lead to escalations along the Line of Control.
They urged both countries to settle the dispute in a peaceful manner, by direct dialogue, in line with the bilateral agreements, and with the UN Charter.